Do You Read The Best Selling Novels In Your Genre?
Do you actually read the best selling books in your genre? It’s a valid question. I’m just curious.
If I’m doing a book for myself or writing an article for a magazine I read as much as I can in that genre or from that publication. I get to know the market inside out. I know what works and what will not. It’s simply research, but research that always pays off. I have to stress the word ALWAYS because that is the important point.
My advice for what it’s worth…if you’re thinking of writing a crime novel for example, something really original, witty, edgy, and hopefully gripping and entertaining it’s no use saying to yourself ‘This book is going to be so original, there will be nothing like it on the market. I’m bound to have a hit on my hands. No question.’ And that’s all very well, but I think you are taking a massive gamble.
It’s my opinion you need to do some good old fashioned Market Research.
Read everything you can manage to get hold of that is successful in the particular genre you are aiming for. Don’t read absolutely everything, obviously not. Leave the mediocre stuff out. Bypass it. Only the proven successful books. I realise this involves a lot of effort and stamina on your part but it will pay off big time down the line.
Get a real feel for ‘what works’. Don’t dismiss it as ‘commercial’ dross. It has merits. It’s selling. It’s making money.
That’s not to say I would advise you to ‘copy’ that style, far from it, but the books that make their authors real money are the ones that ‘hit the spot’…. that readers with cash want to buy. If you want to tap into that market you have to understand it and somehow write something that is true to your own values but yet incorporates all, or most of, the best selling properties of the blockbusters.
Once again I will repeat myself…..because it’s important, and I guarantee you will thank me in the months and years to come…. “Read the best selling novels in your chosen genre because it will help you find out what your readers want”.